We did it again – best in England

Oak glade in spring

Oak glade in spring

A year ago, I reported that Alvecote Wood won the Royal Forestry Society competition for the best small woodland in the Midlands and North West of England, something that was honestly beyond anything we had dreamed of when we bought the woods in 2007.


In 2014, all the previous winners and runners-up were entered into a champion of champions competition to find the Best of England, and we were entered in the small woodland category.  As the judges had visited us last year, we weren’t visited again but other woodlands were visited, to see what they had done in the meantime.  We had not stood still either – this winter we extended our coppice into the edge of Betty’s Wood to revive the hedge, increase light in the lower woodlands, and remove some very large holly that was blocking the light.  All of this should help regeneration in an area previously showing very little.  We also put up a QR code trail in the woodland so that visitors could use smartphones to scan the codes, bring up a web page with information about that location, with links to activities for all the family.

Evening bluebells

Bluebells near our coppice

At the weekend, we heard that we had won, and we are now officially the best small woodland in the whole of England!  We started from very humble beginnings, but tried to take a professional approach to ensuring that the site became as valuable as possible for wildlife, as quickly as possible.  We were novices, and we are still learning all the time.  To be acknowledged by experts in the field is a real surprise, and gives us the confidence to move forward, always with advice and help, to ensure our woodland is a resource for generations to come.

Read more about the Royal Forestry Society competition and this year’s winners using the link below.


You can also read our story, from the Quarterly Journal of Forestry (pdf) here

5 thoughts on “We did it again – best in England

  1. Congratulations! I haven’t been following your blog for very long but it is my impression that your woodland is in the best possible hands. The photographs of the flora & fauna are in themselves a testimony to your work. Well done!

    • I love the way you say “in the best hands”. That is how we view it. We don’t own it, but we have the privilege of looking after it and making it as beautiful as possible for the next generation, as well as a wonderful home for nature.

  2. Congratulations that is a wonderful achievement on so many levels, you are inspiring 🙂 Have you done, or are you intending to do, a kind of write up of major lessons learned or useful tips for those of us who may not own small woods ourselves but may be managing woods on behalf of others? I’m sure you’ve learned so much that you could share? Not wanting to create work for you or anything 😉 Well done again it’s great to know what you’re doing

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